While many Vedantic schools have fought over the ontological and philosophical status of Maya, in Shakta worldview Maya is the creative power of the Supreme. It is by acts of exclusive concentration that the Supreme is able to create a world of apparent divergence on the substratum of the Brahman. The gods are different from each other, just as there is difference in species, countries, men and women, even a grain of dust maybe different from another grain. Each individual feels himself different from everything else in the world. This unique sense of differentiation and individualization is the creative power of Maya, and since this exists even in the realm of the great gods, so the Shakta doctrine believes that Devi Mahamaya is even more ancient and primodial than the world of the devatas and it is infact She who has created the devatas.

Only such an individual who has no attachments to anything, is truly in the condition of samadristi, equanimity towards all, is least affected by Maya. When Mahamaya lifts her veil from the eyes of a seeker, he finds a universal Reality that links all creation. This is akin to the realization of the Chandogya Upanishadic Mahavakya: Sarvam Khalvidam Brahman – Everything is Brahman.

Among the Mahavidya-s devi Bhuvaneswari who is closest to the idea of Mahamaya. She is the personification of that force of the Mahashakti who creates the world around us. The physical manifestation of the principles of creation. As such her bija mantra is also known in Tantra-s as the Maya bija while her yantra is regarded as equivalent to a sarvasiddhi yantra – that which can accomplish everything.

Photo: 19th century hand drawn yantra of Devi Bhuvaneshwari.

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